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Good Bad Ugly

1/30/2013

The good

GoodThe Des Moines Area Association of Realtors Foundation recently announced that, since 2000, it has given more than $300,000 to local Des Moines charities to meet community needs. The Foundation donated $41,000 in 2012 to Central Iowa Shelter, Anawim House, Children and Families of Iowa, House of Mercy, Hope Ministries, Hawthorne New Directions, Orchard Place, Red Cross, Homes of Oakridge, Camp Sunnyside Easter Seals, Youth Homes of Mid-America and Beacon of Hope. Thanks for providing dreams to not only home-buyers but many others, too.

Martin Luther King Day was a day of celebration, recognition and compassion at the Urbandale Public Library last week. Several local residents turned out to honor King’s legacy through service and volunteer activities and with donations in support of the Urbandale Food Pantry. Recognizing that food insecurity is linked with decreased economic opportunity, volunteers brought 1,674 food and personal care items and knitted outerwear, as well as cash donations totaling $733, to the event Imagine Enough for Everyone. More than 140 participants joined volunteers across the country on the national day of service. Local knitters made hats, scarves and other warm items to donate, while others signed pledges of action to address food insecurity and hunger in the coming year.

 

The bad

Ames Chamber

BadPolk County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 36-year-old Des Moines resident, Russell Halamar, last week, about a block away from the scene of his alleged crime. Deputies had responded to a burglary report at Majestic Lion Antique Center, 5048 N.W. 2nd Ave. A witness pointed them toward Northwest 50th Place where Halamar was found walking along inconspicuously. The cops stopped Halamar and upon searching him, they found items in his possession that linked him to the burglary, according to reports. He was charged with first-degree theft, second-degree theft, third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and possession of burglar’s tools.

This might make a few Republicans chuckle, but it wasn’t funny for a Des Moines woman who found herself trapped in a restroom for more than four hours at the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters last week. Party spokesman Michael Hunt said the restroom door locked, and the mechanism seemed to break after she closed it. No one else was in the office Monday, so there was not anyone there to hear her cries for help. Eventually, the woman’s husband called police after he saw her car in the lot and a light on inside the building. When they arrived, police said they kicked in a glass exterior door and then the restroom door after hearing her crying for help.

 

The ugly

UglyIt seems Florida’s reoccurring presence in the stupid news segments of various media outlets across the country may — not surprisingly — be linked to a high level of drug addiction among residents there. Gulf Coast Addiction Treatment Center announced last week that heroin use in Florida has increased in recent months. Oxycodone addicts are now turning to heroin as supplies for the prescription are becoming more scarce and more expensive, according to Debbie Ross, executive director. She said the price of 30 milligrams of Oxycodone jumped from about $10 to about $30 in 2012. Some types of heroin are as cheap as $10 a hit, and addicts are going to pick the cheaper option without worrying about the painful detox process. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported heroin deaths statewide increased by 18.8 percent to 62 percent in 2011.

Two men and one teen are suspects in the rape of a 12-year-old girl from Harrisburg. The Council Bluffs teenager was arrested last week in Lincoln County in connection with the alleged rape. He’s being held at a juvenile detention facility until a court appearance next week with a $25,000 cash-only bond. Elizeo Kalimba, 20, of Sioux Falls, was earlier charged with rape and child pornography in the case. His bond was also set at $25,000 cash. Authorities are still looking for a third man believed to be involved in the incident, Obadiah Loyira, 19, who is wanted on rape and child pornography charges. CV

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